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Montana senator holds on despite Obama drag

By MATT GOURAS
Associated Press
   HELENA, Mont. (AP) -- Democratic Sen. Jon Tester is hanging on in a brutal
Montana re-election battle despite a big drag caused by President Barack Obama.
   Republican congressman Denny Rehberg has been unable to pull ahead of the
first-term senator even though Obama is poised to lose big in Montana, a vast,
sparsely populated, libertarian-minded state.
   Both candidates preach their independent credentials as outside spending
bombards TV viewers with an unprecedented wave of attack ads -- nearly
$12 million worth so far. Most of the ads are against Rehberg and underwritten
by unions and Democratic-aligned groups.
   The Senate race remains one of the half-dozen or so pure toss-ups that will
determine whether Democrats continue to control the Senate or Republicans
take it over.
   AP-WF-10-06-12 0735GMT

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